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HTMLfixIT Archive for December, 2006




Sunday, December 31st, 2006 by Don

We did one this year, but in a little twist, I didn’t send it to anybody. I sent them the usual photo greeting card (I have ordered them from Sam’s Club the past few years — available less than 24 hours after you place the order) but simply added a link on the card.

We have one major problem with their cards, I cannot fit the name of every family member. Last year I did it like a puzzle, figuring out how many characters per line and then combining family members’ names until it all worked out. We have a bunch of kids and a couple of dogs and we include the dogs’ names too. With another dog this year they didn’t fit — and neither would the link. I outsmarted the system. I put all the names and the link into the photo itself. It took a little trial and error to get the dimensions of the photo right, but I was able to figure it out. So anybody who wants to see my newsletter after getting my card can fire up their browser and have a look. And if they don’t want to … they don’t have to. I think it might be the perfect solution.

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Sunday, December 31st, 2006 by Don

Apparently some people are getting a computer with Vista loaded to get exposure among the influential. And I didn’t get one? Either they figure I already have used Vista enough or they think that I might not like it? Are they only giving it to their huge fans? I use Windows — heck I have an install of 98, 2000, NT, XP (and we don’t run it often but we even still have 95 on a machine) … and there is a Vista in my house. I don’t use Vista yet, despite having edited two books on Vista so far for Wiley Publishing, because it is on a desktop and I am usually on a laptop. Oh well I guess I won’t be one of the influencers.

On other software I have recently given a test run. LeadTools Eprint 5 was given to me for a test run. It sounds fantastic. It promises to essentially let you hit print and output to many formats, most significant to me being pdf (Adobe Portable Document Format). I often take a Window’s Office document (based on this template) and open it in Open Office (oOo 2.0) for the simple purpose of outputing it in pdf format. Unfortunately in my limited testing, it only works so, so. The first document I tested it on converted just fine. But then I did my Christmas Newsletter (more on Christmas Newsletters in a moment in another post) it butchered it. It turned the solid backgrounds in text boxes into plaid colored backgrounds making the overlying text impossible to read. In turn it flipped several of the little eye candy images like the reindeer upside down. To put is simply, it didn’t work on this document so I opened Open Office and it converted it near flawlessly (it also had one glitch … the connected text boxes didn’t connect completely so I had to make a little edit, the first time I might add when oOo has failed me even a little in the conversion process). My wish for the new year — a pdf output program that works 100 percent.

Maybe I’ll go get Open Office 2.1 that was recently released and see if it does any better. As an interesting aside, Google still talks about downloading oOo 2.0. I wonder if Open Office has missed a step in updating that is causing Google not to react? They have the 2.1.0 in most of the bottom links, but the first link on the page in navigation doesn’t reflect the change. Perhaps it should?

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Sunday, December 24th, 2006 by Don

I’ll admit it, the thought never occurred to me until today. Famous people blogging. I guess I’m slow. The only “famous” person I ever read a blog of (and being “well known” because of your blog like Scoble, who got me going on this topic doesn’t qualify you as famous) was arguably GoDaddy’s Bob Parson (side note, check out his interesting link structure, all run together with a semi-colon). That self-promotion got boring fast as his few grains of wisdom soon turned to nothing but a stream of self promotion. I turned him off. Going back to read that post left me turned off. It isn’t just business Bob. People feel about the OJ deal like you feel about the Marines.

So today when there was a link about Mark Cuban (I had heard he blogs) ripping on The Donald … and in turn he and Rosie O’Donnell apparently mix it up. Two interesting things I guess: 1. Cuban rips Trump for his failure to be the top guy in blogging as he apparently ranks something like 23,000 from the top. Way to go Mark, you probably just fixed his problem because Scoble linked to you and you linked to him and well, that’s the way it goes in the imaginary world called the blogosphere (a term I hate by the way). Anyway, he won’t be down there much longer. 2. Rosie O’Donnell’s blog (and I don’t like the look of it and actually don’t get the layout much — I guess I don’t think like her) is run on WordPress 2.0.5 – my favorite “blog/cms” tool. WordPress is “free and priceless” so I wonder if she donated to the WordPress movement?

I have always like Trump. I was watching ESPN Classic Poker last night airing tournaments from years ago, before it was popular, and there was Trump with some good looking chick on his shoulder looking over the game at his casino. I honestly think he sees trends and jumps quickly. I like the Apprentice and actually watch it (so does Mike according to his prior post so it can’t be all that bad now can it?). I cannot defend how that run on advertisement for all things Donald differs quite from Bob Parson’s all things Bob to be honest, but somehow it entertains me and I think maybe just maybe I glean something from it.

Anyway, I don’t think I’ll read any of the four regularly (Rosie who I truly cannot stand on a “personal” level – she’s just flat out annoying to me, Bob – he turned me off a while back, Mark Cuban – I don’t know maybe I should try his sometime, or Donald’s – probably because in written form it may be a lot closer to Parson’s than I would like).

I love his fight with Rosie, apparently he asserts that “he” didn’t file bankruptcy. He uses bankruptcy regularly as a business tool regardless of the entity filing to stiff people who worked hard and deserve their money while he lives a life of luxury. Not nice, and maybe I’ll have to turn off his show if I start to think about that. Bankruptcy is a tool to help people in a time of need, not a tool to be abused to many’s way of thinking.

But wait, I just changed my mind — Ivanka is on the show this year. I’ll watch her just to imagine …

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Tuesday, December 19th, 2006 by Don

Today I was watching the most amazing story I have ever personally seen, a young musician at Louisville who plays in the marching band. The kid is truly talented. So I decide to watch the ABC News Video On Demand.

The problem is that to pay for the bandwidth they are using to bring me the video (and perhaps lots of other good things), they place a random video in front of the story. The advertisment if for Folgers and they have a blindfolded guy apparently doing a taste test. Now maybe I am being overly sensitive, but to have an advertisment of this nature in front of a story about a guy overcoming sight limits somehow seems in poor taste.

Folgers Advertisement - with a blindfolded man

Folgers Advertisement -with a blindfolded man

Picture of Patrick and his dad in the band

Of course the above three screenshots are property of ABC News.

Am I wrong about this, or should they be a little careful to do what google adwords does in reverse – exclude in-appropriate content because of the nature of the news story?

In fairness, I refreshed a dozen or two times and there was another Folgers ad (although it was about a baker struggling to get up — seems not all that tough compared to what Patrick’s dad does in the following video — in fact having Patrick’s dad who works a night job at UPS to be available for his son would have been a better ad — feel free to send me the 10% finders fee Patrick when they pick up the ad), Walmart ads, City Bank Freedom Card ads, etc.

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Tuesday, December 19th, 2006 by Don

Several times I have been sent/seen the story of the World’s Greatest Dad. That touching story is of a dad and his love for his son as he takes him with him during triathlons. He swims (towing his son in a boat), bikes (putting his son in a modified child seat) and runs (push his son in a stroller). They have done marathons and there is no question it is one seriously great story. It touches you way down deep.

Is it the greatest story ever? Is he the greatest dad ever? Well I thought maybe so, until tonight I was sitting here watching ESPN. On come the story of a trumpet player and piano player, Patrick Henry Hughes. Wow, no pun intended, the kid plays and I’m blown away. He is talented and has vision sighted people can only hope to have.

I am sure there are hundreds of thousands if not millions of parents who have struggles for the love of their children. But it’s hard to argue with the love displayed by dad’s such as these.

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Thursday, December 14th, 2006 by Don

Open Office, the no cost competitor to Microsoft Office software released 2.1 this week. John over at Meahl Dubh raises some interesting issues on why the open source industry is free to roll out updates more readily than proprietary software. I guess the ability to react is one of the big plusses in open source and I appreciate that.

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Wednesday, December 13th, 2006 by Don

Geez have I read that enough lately? Today just one email address had 12 of this particular header subject sneak through the spam filters. I haven’t looked into it, but I assure you that you are unlikely to download Vista Ultimate as it is a huge download. Instead, you’ll undoubtely get a nice virus.

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